An article on CNN reported that famed Atlanta pastor Eddie Long “categorically and adamantly denies” the allegations against him that he coerced two young male staff members into sex. Long, pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, says the accusations filed “are definitely without merit” and “a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues.” The lawsuits claim that Long used his authority against the two staff members and said this is a pattern-behavior for Long, who is considered one of America’s top black preachers and whose church was the site of Coretta Scott King’s funeral in 2006. Art Franklin, the spokesman for Long, said the two staff members were previously charged with burglary of Long’s office. The lawsuits do not specify the amount of damages sought but say that various staff members knew of Long’s regular misconduct and “did nothing to warn or protect” the plaintiffs in the suit. The attorney for the plaintiffs said she is currently looking into other related allegations against Long.